- Director: Ming-liang Tsai
An example of slow cinema. In this instance...excruciatingly slow.
The film is book-ended by two immensely static shots...first, the opening, an older man stares out of a window [accompanied by an indescribable cacophony]...it's motionless and goes on for far too long. You would be forgiven in thinking that the film is stuck, buffering...but, there is no little buffering sign. Second, the ending, a younger man waits at a bus stop...for an absolute eternity, for a bus that never arrives. The end.
What goes in-between...domestic doldrums. It all leads to the highlight of the film...a same-sex, inter-generational, possibly gay4pay [possibly not] 20 minute, erotic massage...replete with the happy ending, Well, he did pay for it. The only problem is...it's not, in the slightest, erotic. Neither is it pornographic...for that we can be thankful, but it might have spiced things up a bit! There is minimal dialogue...and, the little there is...is deliberately un-subtitled. Oooh...filmmakers' pretension reigning [redundantly] supreme.
Days is 2 very long hours of relentless tedium.
Kang lives alone in a big house. Through a glass façade, he looks out onto the treetops lashed by wind and rain. He feels a strange pain of unknown origin which he can hardly bear and which grips his whole body. Non lives in a small apartment in Bangkok where he methodically prepares traditional dishes from his native village. When Kang meets Non in a hotel room, the two men share each other's loneliness. Tsai Ming-Liang’s new work concludes the exploration he began in Journey to the West. The images are emanations of slowness and frailty, embodied by the actor Lee Kang-Sheng, with whom the filmmaker has collaborated for years. After making a personal confession in Afternoon, in Rizi (Days) he silently observes the encounter between two men who forget the dark side of reality for one night, and perhaps even get close to the truth, before returning to their daily lives. As always, when Tsai Ming-Liang trains his camera on faces and lights, everything is possible and the images naturally have multiple meanings.